Dec 2, 2013

Expecting Nothing

The first Cocoa Jackson Lane single is done and we feel so relieved but so confused... Why so excited? I have released singles before, I have seen them travel wide but I have also seen them stall right in the middle of a streaming highway. Trampled in a stampede. History would have taught me not to be excited and to expect nothing.

If I expect nothing I cannot be disappointed if nothing comes. I will be happy if only our dearest whanau and friends enjoy it. I am thankful to be able to write, record and produce music with Camilla, without any other pressures involved. We are fledglings jumping off a cliff, trying to create enough momentum to stay airborne. We work hard, we struggle to improve, and we do. We get better and we create success.

The mystery and uncertainty of what is to come lies in the eyes of the media. The most powerful player in my own game. The queen that reduces me to a pawn. How the media perceives this song will have a direct impact on the distance it will travel.  If someone else has vouched for it, people feel brave enough to show that they like it too. Nobody wants to like the band that sucks, because people feel identified by their tastes. We wear bands like badges of honour, communicating to the world how we position ourselves in society. The good thing about that though is we often like to vouch for the underdog, because we relate to the underdog. 

Triple j used to be the underdog, but really it's a watchdog, only letting certain people (the majority either white or male and most commonly both) through to the other side. We are neither of those things, so I don't expect the watchdog to let us clamber over the gates. When looking at the history of Triple J (playlists and presenters) it has been heavily male oriented and generally focused on Australian youth culture of barbecues and festivals, thongs, inflatable pools, beach, green and gold, and fashionable mainstream rebels. They like artists that exemplify these things too, so when they put my music next to this they don't see the cookie cutter fit or think their people would want to listen to it.

The same goes for the limiting nature of genre generally in Aus (compare with NZ, UK, USA). If you don't fit into the rock, pop, hip hop, folk, or indie hipster categories, or you combine styles together, you're not likely to get rotation. If you dare to break free of these genres and low and behold... create your own... you have just written yourself into a blind spot.

That's why Community Radio is our saving grace, they are open minded, supportive, and welcoming to new finds and fresh styles, in fact, they gloat discoveries. The more hidden, the more valuable. Eccentric, eclectic, in search of quality and treasure. Community Radio celebrates diversity.

Our philosophy is aligned with this. We would rather stay true to ourselves in the underground. To stay true to ourselves we have to trust ourselves, and our ears. This is why you need a good team, and why Camilla is amazing to work with. She is fully committed to the best result and giving her all. If she stumbles upon something that she doesn't know how to do she researches it and figures it out. She isn't stumped by missing knowledge, she is motivated by acquiring skill. She does not settle for habit. If a particular element needs a different approach she will find that way. She won't automatically sail the same route, she will read the stars to navigate, and I will be an observant passenger. Until it's all hands on deck again, then I very well may be getting bashed about by raging tides, swallowing salt water and being whipped in the eyes by my hair, dreaming of dry land. It was her birthday this week, 24yrs young. Off to a flying start!!

So here we go, sailing out to sea with songs in hand and the stars in sight, with a cargo full of invitations and a fridge full of beer. Are you coming to the party?

In Search of Souls